The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new guidance regarding economically targeted investments (ETIs) made by retirement plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ETIs are investments that are selected for the benefits they create in addition to the investment return to the employee benefit plan investor.
“Investing in the best interests of a retirement plan and in the growth of a community can go hand in hand,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez in a DOL press release. “We have heard from stakeholders that a 2008 department interpretation has unduly discouraged plan fiduciaries from considering economically targeted investments. Changes in the financial markets since that time, particularly improved metrics and tools allowing for better analyses of investments, make this the right time to clarify our position.”